While deGrom’s injury is not serious, a pitcher’s schedule in Spring Training can be totally thrown off by a delay like this.
Don’t get all worried. Jacob deGrom is more than likely going to be fine this season. He’s had a little back stiffness to start Spring Training out and it’s been nothing more than that really.
The news around the Mets beat is that he could miss Opening Day, and that’s definitely possible. But we’re still 30 days away from that mark so why is that being discussed? Well, it has to mainly do with the fact that deGrom is a pitcher.
New Mets manager Mickey Callaway likes having his starters get five chances to go out in Spring Training before an actual regular season game. In deGrom’s case, this back issue has delayed his first start. Even if it’s not serious, missing that first game puts you behind everyone else’s schedule and likely puts you out of contention for the Opening Day start.
A few of us here at Rising Apple still have hope that deGrom gets that honor as he definitely has earned it over the last few seasons.
Callaway noted exactly that when asked about deGrom after the Mets’ loss on Tuesday.
"“Probably not totally clear on that,” Callaway said. ‘We’ll have to see how his throwing progression goes and go from there.”"
And his progression will be key as he can still be in line to make a start that first run through the order if he gets on the mound as soon as possible.
He told reporters on Tuesday that he felt good throwing off of flat ground and was going to get back on the mound on Wednesday to see if he can make a start soon.
DeGrom sounded pretty confident that he’ll be back sooner rather than later, and we hope he’s right. While he may have had his worst career season last year, it was still so much better than so many other pitchers in Major League Baseball. That’s what makes deGrom so special. Even when he doesn’t have his best stuff, he’s still great.
Even if he doesn’t get a chance to pitch Opening Day, his health going forward is so much more important. The Mets chances in the NL East and the Wild Card race are on his and the rest of ther rotation’s shoulders.